TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary of the Collection

Administrative Information

History of the Seeing Indian in Chicago Project

Scope and Content of the Collection

Organization

Selected Search Terms

Container List

Series 1: Dan Battise Photographs

Series 2: Ben Bearskin Photographs

Series 3: Orlando Cabanban Photographs

Series 4: Joe Kazumura Photographs

Series 5: F. Peter Weil Photographs

Series 6: Leroy Wesaw Photographs

Series 7: Exhibition Labels and Oversize

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Inventory of the Seeing Indian in Chicago Exhibition Records, 1958-1985


The Newberry Library
Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections
60 West Walton Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610-7324
USA
Phone: 312-255-3506
Fax: 312-255-3646
E-Mail: specialcolls@newberry.org
URL: http://www.newberry.org

Machine-readable finding aid encoded by Lisa Janssen, 2004.

©2004.


Descriptive Summary of the Collection

Creator D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian History, 1985
Title Seeing Indian in Chicago Exhibition Records
Dates 1958-1985
Extent 3 linear feet (5 boxes and 1 oversize box)
Abstract Photographs from the Seeing Indian in Chicago American Indian photography exhibit, July 22-September 21, 1985, Hermon Dunlap Smith Gallery, The Newberry Library. Also exhibition labels.
Language Materials are in English.
Repository Newberry Library, Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections
Collection Call Number Ayer Modern MS Seeing Indian
Collection Stack Location 3 60 11

Administrative Information

Cite As

Seeing Indian in Chicago Exhibition Records, The Newberry Library, Chicago.

Provenance

D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian History, 1985.

Processed by

Christina A. Reynen, 2001.

Access

The Seeing Indian in Chicago Exhibition Records are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Seeing Indian in Chicago Exhibition Records are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

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History of the Seeing Indian in Chicago Project

The Seeing Indian in Chicago exhibition was sponsored by the D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian History of the Newberry Library. It was funded by the Ethnic and Folk Arts Program of the Illinois Arts Council and the Hyman and Marjorie Weinberg Foundation.

An outgrowth of the Chicago American Indian Oral History Project (1984), the Seeing Indian exhibition was held July 22-September 21, 1985 at the Hermon Dunlap Smith Gallery at the Newberry Library. It was part of the Chicago American Indian Photography Project which aimed to document the American Indian community in Chicago by creating an archives of photographs taken by interested community members. The exhibition honored six photographers of the Chicago Indian community: Dan Battise, Ben Bearskin, Orlando Cabanban, Joe Kazumura, F. Peter Weil, and Leroy Wesaw.

The photographs made by each of the photographers were shown to audiences at two community meetings; three photographers were featured at each meeting. In the course of showing the pictures many identifications were made of the individuals in the photographs. This community involvement meant that the pictures could be documented and made more useful to the larger community.

An opening was planned to celebrate the beginning of the exhibit on July 26, 1985, and efforts were made to make it a community event. Dancers and singers were present, and a prayer was offered by a community religious leader. At least half of the four hundred people present for the short program were members of the Chicago Indian community.

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Scope and Content of the Collection

Exhibition photographs by Dan Battise, Ben Bearskin, Orlando Cabanban, Joe Kazumura, F. Peter Weil and Leroy Wesaw, of the Chicago American Indian community.

The eighty-three photographs in the "Seeing Indian in Chicago" exhibition document the social life and customs of the American Indian community in Chicago during the late 1950's to the mid-1980's. They depict the group life and activities of the American Indian Center (AIC) such as camera club outings, pow wows, the basketball team and expositions. There are also shots of family members of the American Indian photographers (Battise, Bearskin and Wesaw). After the exhibition photographs is a series of exhibit labels, with a box of oversize material at the end.

Narrative descriptions of the subject matter, types of material, and arrangement of each series are available through the Organization section of the finding aid.

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Organization

Papers are organized in the following series:

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Selected Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Newberry Library's public catalog. Researchers desiring additional materials on a particular topic should search the catalog using these headings.

Names

  • American Indian Center (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Battise family
  • Battise, Dan
  • Bearskin family
  • Bearskin, Ben
  • Cabanban, Orlando
  • Kazumura, Joe
  • Weil, Peter F.
  • Wesaw family
  • Wesaw, Leroy

Subjects

  • Chicago (Ill.) -- Social life and customs
  • Exhibitions -- Illinois -- Chicago
  • Group portraits -- Illinois -- Chicago -- 1951-2000
  • Indians of North America -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Photographs
  • Photographers -- Illinois -- Chicago
  • Photographs -- Illinois -- Chicago -- 1951-2000
  • Photography -- Exhibitions
  • Portrait photographs -- Illinois -- Chicago -- 1951-2000

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Container List

Series 1: Dan Battise Photographs

Dan Battise (Alabama-Coushatta) was born in 1917 in the "piney-woods" country between Indian Village and Livingston, Texas. As a child he became interested in photography when he saw a man with a box camera. He cut grass for people to earn enough to purchase his first Kodak camera, and he kept up his photography hobby ever since that time. He came to Chicago in 1949, and frequently travelled to pow wows and other Indian events taking photographs. Battise was involved with the American Indian Center when it was first started and was an active volunteer. He also received an award from the Indian Council Fire. A member of the first Chicago American Indian Camera Club, he took many photographs of Native American community clubs, and organizational photos for many years.
Arranged by exhibition number.

Box Folder Contents
1 1 Battise, Dan - Portrait
1 2 Number 2: A cover of the American Indian Center Newsletter, The Chicago Warrior, April 14, 1960
1 3 Number 8: AIC basketball team photographed with cheerleaders, (see Oversize Box) 1960-1961
1 4 Number 10: Helen Aitkin, Andy Aitkin and Opal Skenadore at pow wow, Timberlake Park, Illinois
1 5 Number 11: A birthday for Jackie Battise
1 6 Number 14: Harvey Sun and a friend in 1958 (see Oversize Box), 1958
1 7 Number Jackie Battise in her father's booth at an AIC Arts & Crafts Exposition, 19
1 8 Number 25: Ely Powless and Fred Greendeer on parade in 1962, 1962
1 9 Number 26: Norma Bearskin Stealer and Silvia Battise King getting ready for the 1958 AIC Pow Wow,
1 10 Number 27: Dan Battise, Ben Bearskin, Harry Funmaker, Amos Decora and Ken Funmaker on the edges of a LaSalle Street AIC event
1 11 Number 28: Earl Cordire, Ben Bearskin, and Nathan Bird, part of an American Indian Center camera club Outing
1 12 Number 29: Sandy Bird and Amila Naquayoma with their children

Series 2: Ben Bearskin Photographs

Ben Bearskin was a member of the ancient Winnebago tribe, now confined mostly to Wisconsin and Nebraska. He grew up in a tri-lingual household hearing Dakota, Ho-Chunk and English. Ben Bearskin lived in Chicago most of his life and was one of the elders of the Indian community. In addition to his photography Ben Bearskin was active with the American Indian Center and the Chicago Drum singing group, which performed throughout the Midwest. Bearskin (80 years old in 1999) was also a teacher of Ho-Chunk Indian language. During decades as a pipefitter in Chicago, he did volunteer work among the 20,000 Indians in the city. He was also a member of the first Chicago American Indian Camera Club and took photographs of various Chicago and other area tribal celebrations for many years.
Arranged by exhibition number.

Box Folder Contents
1 13 Ben Bearskin - Portrait
1 14 Number 1: Dave Fox, Ely Powless, Willard LaMere strike a pose (see Oversize Box)
1 15 Number 3: Ben Bearskin in 1960 posing for the camera club, 1960
1 16 Number 5: Community gathers at LaSalle Street Indian Center
1 17 Number 9: Sheridan Road AIC dance troupe dressed for a presentation
1 18 Number 10: Leroy Wesaw & Ben Bearskin with the AIC Boy Scout troop
1 19 Number 13: A birthday celebration for Avery Lonetree
1 20 Number 17: Ben Bearskin Jr., Tom Greenwood, Barbara Bearskin
1 21 Number 21: Ben Bearskin, Willie Stealer on Chicago lakefront, 1970
1 22 Number 22: Visiting team from Minneapolis at the AIC basketball tournament, held at Olivet Institute

Series 3: Orlando Cabanban Photographs

Orlando Cabanban was a Filipino interested in Indian life, a professional photographer, and long-time friend of the American Indian Center. He took photographs of AIC events for over fifteen years.
Arranged by exhibition number.

Box Folder Contents
2 23 Cabanban, Orlando - Portrait
2 24 Number 3: Winona Factor, Sandy Bird hold down their canoe during a canoe club outing in the mid 1960's
2 25 Number 6: Time in the park at the base of Wilson Avenue.
2 26 Number 8: Faith Smith speaking at Field Museum Indian Days program in 1968, 1968
2 27 Number 12: Andy Morrison and a friend at the AIC
2 28 Number 14: Francesca Veltri with the kids at an AIC day camp
2 29 Number 15: Georgiana King and son, Sean Keahna, pause in the gym at AIC
2 30 Number 17: Art Elton, Tony Barker, Archie Blackelk, Paul Goodiron in canoe club race
2 31 Number 18: Boys on the bus during a day camp outing
2 32 Number 19: Sam Sign, Archie Blackowl holding down their part of the drum (see Oversize Box) 19
2 33 Number 20: Waiting for the next activity during the AIC day camp
2 34 Number 21: Barbara Bearskin at AIC day camp in 1967 1967
2 35 Number 22: The demands for the attention of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Chicago office, in the 1971 sit in demonstration, 1971
2 36 Number 28: Andy Aitkin leading the way at an AIC fundraising pow wow
2 37 Number 30: Leroy Wesaw, Pat Wesaw, Colin Wesaw, Dorothy Wesaw, Leroy Wesaw Jr. in a family portrait
2 38 Number 33: Andy Aitkin, Isaac Caramonz, Nathan Bird plead the Indian Days celebration at the Field Museum in 1968, 1968
2 39 Number 44: Danny Blackowl, Colin Wesaw, Archie Blackowl, Danny King, and unidentified singer, performing on the stage of the AIC 1970, 1970

Series 4: Joe Kazumura Photographs

Joe Kazumura was born in Modesto, California in 1937 and was in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. He came to Chicago in 1946 and after receiving a camera for his birthday in 1959, he became interested in photography. He lived near the Indian Center in Chicago, frequently attending events held there, and became particularly interested in photographing Plains Indians costumes. While in the service in Korea, Kazumura learned darkroom skills. He was the secretary, past-president and a judge of the Northwest Camera Club, and belonged to the White Bear Society. A long-time friend of the Chicago American Indian Center, he took photographs of American Indian Center activities for over fifteen years.
Arranged exhibition number.

Box Folder Contents
2 40 Kazumura, Joe - Portrait
2 41 Number 1: Gabriel Cleveland fancy dancing at Navy Pier AIC Annual Pow Wow in 1982, 1982
2 42 Number 5: Dennis Williams, fancy dancer at AIC 1984 Annual Pow Wow, 1984
2 43 Number 6: Phyllis Fastwolf and granddaughter holding down a booth at a Spring Arts Exposition
2 44 Number 7: Serena Yellowbank, Steve King, and Barbara Whitehead participants at 1984 AIC Annual Pow Wow, 1984
3 45 Number 8: Men's Fancy dancer at 1982 AIC at Navy Pier, 1982
3 46 Number 9: Chris Grezlik ready to join in dancing at the 1981 AIC Pow Wow, 1981
3 47 Number 10: Chauncina Whitehorse and granddaughter at a special honor pow wow for Lee Whitehorse
3 48 Number 15: Kim Greendeer and Bradford Funmaker, fancy dancers at AIC Annual Pow Wow and winners of fancy dance competition
3 49 Number 18: Windy White and Bobby Bird at AIC Pow Wow, Navy Pier
3 50 Number 20: Richard Rivera, fancy dancer attending an AIC Valentine's Day pow wow
3 51 Number 24: Mario Rivera at AIC Pow Wow
3 52 Number 26: Lana King, 1985 AIC Princess dancing at 1984 AIC Annual Pow Wow
3 53 Number 27: Lana King 1985 AIC Princess - Miss Indian Chicago, 1985
3 54 Number 28: Leonard Hare Sr., Leonard Hare Jr., with a member of the next generation, at AIC 1984 Annual Pow Wow, 1984
3 55 Number 31: Steve King and Adrian King taking a minute out at AIC 1982 Annual Pow Wow at Navy Pier, 1982
3 56 Number 34: Peter Moore (left) ready to dance men's traditional at AIC Pow Wow in 1984, 1984
3 57 Number 37: Jo Jo Blackowl, fancy dancer at an AIC event at DePaul
3 58 Number 44: Woman's Fancy dancer at 1984 AIC Pow Wow, Rose Money behind her, 1984
3 59 Number 45: Michele Kline, and the Hensley sisters, lining up for grand entry at 1982 AIC Annual Pow Wow, 1982
3 60 Number 50: Jasper Blackowl (right) at a special pow wow sponsored by the Whitehorse family
3 61 Number 51: Jennifer White (center) and friends at AIC 1982 Spring Exposition (see Oversize Box), performing on the stage of the AIC 1970, 1970

Series 5: F. Peter Weil Photographs

F. Peter Weil (a non-Indian interested in Indian life) was born in Germany in 1913 and came to the United States in 1938. Having started in photography as a hobby, he studied under Aaron Siskind and Art Sinsabaugh at the Institute of Design in Chicago on a part time basis (1952-1954). After working for photographers in Chicago and free-lancing for the Hyde Park Herald, Weil came to the Newberry Library in 1969 as the supervisor of the Photoduplication Department. While at the Newberry, he recorded all of the events involving Indian people at the Library since 1972. In addition, Weil had an extensive collection of photographs from earlier community events, the most important of these being the 1961 Chicago Conference that brought hundreds of Indians to the University of Chicago and led to the founding of the National Indian Youth Congress. A former long time resident of Hyde Park, Weil died at age eighty-three in Missoula, Montana.
Arranged by exhibition number.

Box Folder Contents
3 62 Weil, Peter. F. - Portrait
3 63 Number 1: Women dancers line up for Grand Entry at the Chicago Conference Pow Wow in 1961, held at field house of the University of Chicago,
3 64 Number 3: Lester Fourhorn, Sam Keahna, and Albert Keahna during the Blessing of the Center, behind the Newberry Library in 1971
3 65 Number 9: Barbara Bearskin and Kathy White, D'Arcy McNickle in the background during the Center's founding in 1971,
3 66 Number 11: Richard McPherson and Ben Bearskin chat between songs during the McNickle Center's founding event in 1971
4 67 Number 14: Indian music being provided by Ben Bearskin and Rick McPherson during the Center's founding celebration in 1971
4 68 Number 15: Waiting for the next inter-tribal at the Field House Pow Wow at 1961 Chicago Conference, 1961
4 69 Number Spectators and dancers on the edges of the Chicago Conference of 1961 Pow Wow at the University of Chicago 16
4 70 Number Attendees at the 1961 Chicago Conference Pow Wow chatting between dances, 1961 17
4 71 Number 19: Mona Bearskin, Kathy White, Georgiana King, and Barbara Bearskin attend the Blessing of the Center for the History of the American Indian at its founding in 1971
4 72 Number 20: Louis Delgado, Betty Joe White, Billy White, Kathy White, and Patty White taking part in the Newberry Center's Blessing in 1971
4 73 Number 21: Raising the tipi to be used in the ceremony blessing founding of the McNickle Center
4 74 Number 22: Albert Lightening, Cree holy man, and Father Peter Powell converse during McNickle Center founding ox), performing on the stage of the AIC 1970

Series 6: Leroy Wesaw Photographs

Leroy Wesaw (Potawatomi) was born in the Indian settlement in Lower Michigan in 1925. He first became interested in photography in 1939, initially using an old Brownie camera. Wesaw came to Chicago around 1950, and worked for the federal government in the Assisted Housing Branch. He was active in several areas of Indian affairs and his work with the canoe club is shown in the exhibit.
Arranged by exhibition number.

Box Folder Contents
4 75 Leroy, Wesaw - Portrait
4 76 Number 1: Ernest Naquayoma Sr. (top) and Durell Mason middle) pose for a picture
4 77 Number 3: American Indian Center sign when the center was located on LaSalle street
4 78 Number 4: Dan Battise at AIC Folk Fair - Navy Pier
4 79 Number 7: Dave Fox at AIC Folk Fair - Navy Pier
4 80 Number 9: Young girl getting a drink at DePaul American Indian Center function
4 81 Number 13: Shirley and Skip Longie at AIC Folk Fair - Navy Pier
4 82 Number 14: Jr. Redcloud (far right) and brother and sisters at DePaul American Indian Center event
4 83 Number 15: Dorothy Wesaw (far right) and others pose for a picture

Series 7: Exhibition Labels and Oversize

Arranged alphabetically. Oversize box for the collection follows the exhibit labels.

Box Folder Contents
5 84 Battise, Dan - Exhibition labels
5 85 Bearskin, Ben - Exhibition labels
5 86 Cabanban, Orlando - Exhibition labels
5 87 Kazumura, Joe - Exhibition labels
5 88 Weil, Peter F. - Exhibition labels
5 89 Wesaw, Leroy - Exhibition labels
6 Oversize Box